tv [untitled] January 22, 2011 5:00am-5:30am PST
contractor to require at least a 75% construction waste reduction, so it does not go to a landfill. the water catching system for use in irrigation, the house water regulation and the irrigation system. non-toxic pest control. the drought resistant plants. the certified that wood. building reused from the existing house portion. this is to reclaim the building materials from the existing house. the solar system, which they had on their previous home. this is throughout the project. there was more added to the project in consideration of the northern neighbor. the content material, co2 monitors and other materials.
there is a comprehensive plan. thank you. >> thank you. >> joe, raphael, rene stevens. >> good evening. i live in eureka valley, it two blocks from the proposed project. i have reviewed the plan and it is within the guidelines of the planning department and also aesthetically pleasing to the neighborhood. i was impressed with those stephen m. renee's willingness to work with the neighbors as a -- have a great expense to them. i was going to read a letter from another neighbor that is in support. i do not want to spend your time
doing that. i approve the project standing before you. >> good evening. i have been arrested hud -- a resident of both eureka valley for the last 10 years. i am in favor of the plan for 479 douglass street. this would be a considerable improvement over the existing accounts -- house, and enhanced the neighborhood. it would complement the houses within the bloc. i encourage you to approve the project and thank you for your time.
>> i am renee stephens. i am the co-owner of the subject property and and mother of two. we have lived in san francisco since 1993. i want to thank you for being here, commissioners. especially at this late hour. we love san francisco and we love this neighborhood. we have been in the area since 1997. when we bought this property, it was in quite a state of dangerous disrepair and neglect. as far as we can tell, the last thing that was done to this property was the illegal installation of a kitchen in one of the bedrooms upstairs many years ago. that part of the property -- there was somebody living there when we bought it.
through a process of care -- careful listening to his concerns and understanding of his situation, we were able to come to an ethical -- amicable agreement with him to leave the property. there are deep emotional wounds. my highest values are to listen carefully with compassion and respect. it is of utmost importance to us that we honor those values and listen carefully. we had meetings with the neighbors, even before we had plans and listened carefully to their concerns. they mentioned some things like they would prefer a flat roof over a gabled roof. in the plans, we incorporated a flat roof. now the objection is to the flat
roof. they want more of a gabled roof. we continued our conversations with the dr request errors. they were talking with the next- door neighbor, who we also listened to very carefully. we made extensive modifications to our plans resulting in their agreement. both of our next-door neighbors have an agreement with us. we were delighted that we were able to reach that kind of agreement. you can imagine our surprise. that agreement was made with both neighbors that at the last minute, instead of dr signing the agreement, we thought that we took into account everything, she came down and filed an dr request. she did not voice any concerns at the beginning except for those of the next-door neighbor.
the next-door neighbor has signed an agreement. we did not hear anything from her until the dr request. thank you very much for your time. >> any additional speakers in support of the project sponsored pacs -- sponsor? >> i did want to rebut a couple of things that were said. first, the use of the driveway with a bottoming out. there are a few things that have not been explored which >> could be minor encroachments. i think that would be important given that the alternative is to raise the historic resource and we could actually look into some of those things.
the point that was brought up about the poles that were not visible from our house, they were not for the first floor. there was a lot of talk about the settlement. we did not sign because it was clear that if there were not plans produced, to this day there are not plans that meet the settlement. we actually have confirmation of that from the two people who could not be here today and their lawyers who included us on that. we were originally involved. the agreement is probably not want to hold up. --going to hold up. the letter that she showed, the office of historic preservation, they are not around to comment
for approval on any project, but only the process. they have okayed this process. this is a letter that you all have a copy of. you can look at it. in summary, we have two neighborhood groups that are supporting our need to protect the neighborhood against cumulative impact. we hope that you take our concerns. thank you. >> thank you. >> i would like to address the issue of the neighborhood support for our property and plan. this actually distributed signatures for the plan.
please support the project at 479 douglass. we want to support those who want to stay in san francisco and will do an improvement. that was a fairly vague letter that people signed in support of this. they have distributed this to you, citing crewcut supported this in green. some of this is actually neutral. they could not object with a non-objection. after having seen the letter and found out the number of people that have supported this project, based on that letter, i would have supported it as well. you ask them where they still stand on the plans. the green are the ones that are in support. the gray are the ones that are
neutral. these two people cannot do anything except being neutral. the people directly across from this property are also directly impacted. it is not just on my block. these three houses here, they are directly across from the property being developed, have opposed this project and the plan. they oppose it. in this area, those who are opposed. there are a number of people i could not reach. there are two other things i would like to say. >> thank you. you get two minutes only. >> thank you very much. >> very briefly, there are
copies in the package. i sent multiple letters around to the neighbors with copies of the plan. what she is saying is not true. in dr request number one package, she put this confused diagram in her she has criticized the whole project. she has the lines and the shading. that is the way the house looks now. that is the way the house looks now. she does not even realize what she is looking at. i am sorry, but it is true. we have a look into alternatives. can you see these? i talked to the department of public works. we talked about encroachment.
they said that there is not a chance you can do it. there is not a chance it can be done. the size of the property, in good building areas of some of this land, this property is very similar in size to many of these. i think that is it. thank you. >> thank you. commissioner. >> thank you. i do not find it unusual, extraordinary circumstances for the following reasons. i do not see any significant impact to any of the neighbors. we have the huge mid-blocked open space. most of the neighbors are quite some distance beyond or across from the mid space from the
proposed rewrite edition. --rear addition. you can see that the deaths of therear addition is about the same depth as all of the other structures. i do not feel that is an intrusion. there is no visual change to the historic facade. it is tastefully done. there is a two-foot race to allow g thearage entry. -- the garage entry. they have disguise any possible view of a theddition in the back. the floor plan is a reasonable one. you have the dining room, living room, kitchen and family room.
the guest room is down below. it is all connected. i am happy with the project. i think it is a very good project. >> maybe i missed something. why is it that the garage is unusable? since there is an existing garage now? >> the recommended slope of the driveway is 8%-10%. the existing driveway is 34%. we could not even get close. >> nobody has ever parked in there? is that correct? what is an average car? >> [inaudible] >> i guess mr. donaldson is in
sacramento or washington dc. i will play the historical conservationist. i do not like this project. i think the idea is egregious. i think it overwhelms the historic character of the house itself. the problem i have is that under ceqa and other different kinds of court cases, it seems as though the interpretation of what is character defining and respected as a historic resources, ceqa is for the benefit of the public. what has been happening over the years is that the interpretation of the public benefit has been narrowed to where you are supposed to be able to see it from the street. that is why it is important that the city take a different tact
in reducing the historic landmark work. they may have to change that, too. it does not just apply to those things that you can see from the street. in my definition of a historic resources, that is the entire building. it is not just limited to what somebody walking down the sidewalk can see. if i am going to follow the ceqa laws, i cannot say that addition to the rear has any egregious impact on the building. i personally feel that way. i understand raising the building, that is not as much of a problem. you basically can still see the historic character of the building. that said, i still think that the addition is too big.
i understand that is not expanding did that much beyond some of the other buildings in the neighborhood, but i do have problems with it. that is all i have for now. that is all i have. i was waiting for other people. >> commissioner. >> nobody wants to say anything? >> i do not know that the size of the addition, the impact, not necessarily the size of the addition of faxed --affects it. i would move to not take dr and approve the project. >> is there a second? >> i just wanted to express my appreciation to the
commissioner for stating policy over something that has bothered me for quite some time. from the street or from whatever vantage point, if you are small, you will not see it for sure. this is what this is really all about. i am glad for that expectation. i do like the clarification of policies size and the bulky nests of the rear addition. i am not comfortable with having gotten that clarification that i feel really good about. >> i just wanted to add something along the policy and of things. there were statements that were made that one of the preservation planners had indicated that it was her feeling that if this was going to be considered a contributor
to the historic district that there had not been enough work done to determine whether or not that district have actually existed or what the character defining features were. the department has moved ahead and gone ahead with this project anyway. the friend that i work with does historical preservation work. years ago, we were involved in a similar situation where the dr requestoor challenged her design. the department, under the claimed that there was a historic district in the area, the department at that time, and perhaps this is not a good policy, maybe it is a change of
approach, at that time forced the property owner to survey 80 properties in the neighborhood for which she hired us to undertake. i am telling you, it was not cheap. it seemed at the time to be somewhat of a burden on the property owner. there must be a way that in these kinds of situations there can be a little bit more definitive idea or process of something whereby there could be at least a preliminary work done on what the defining features might be on a potential historic district and thereby inform these kinds of projects a little bit more definitively. >> commissioners fung. >> i am going to go ahead and second the motion to approve.
>> commissioner moore. >> i want to comment on the department's line. i think the discussion we are having is exactly the opposite. by and not trying to discredit the department's recommendation. -- i am not trying to discredit the department's recommendation. together with the historic preservation commission, we could come to acceptable terms with how we approach the project. there is the potential. this really constitutes what is clear to us. it should not be in front of us. we need ourselves to work harder
to really understand what the best course of action is. at this moment, i would gravitate towards the analysis. commissioner? >> i am the deferring in that direction. once you lose a historical resource or damage it, you cannot get it back. it is not like building a new building. old buildings that your making an improvement to, we should better understand the implications of what we are looking at. i do not feel comfortable with commissioner sugaya's expertise in this area. >> commissioner antonini. >> it was pointed out that staff has commented on the thedr reform, this would not be referred to the commission.
we need to have an understanding between staff and the commission. it seems that staff has made a very strong case not to take dr or not to refer it. it is one of those that we will have to look at on the historical and of it. there seems to be a variance of opinion. >> there is a motion and a second to not take as proposed current >>aye. >> no. >> that motion fails to-4. -- 2-4. >> i am not ready to deny the project. that is not in the cards for me. i do not have a specific direction except my concern is the way the addition has been
handled. that does not seem like a lot of direction to be given to the project architect. i do not know, dr requestor,s -- >> i have eight questions, is this something we would want the historic preservation committee to weigh in on? the centers around the historic nature. it seems like maybe having their input would be helpful. >> the motion failed. what does that mean in terms of the project? >> you have to take some action. you have to make an excuse to
modify the project, continue the item. otherwise, the project is approved. >> in this case? that is what i wanted communication on. >> they wanted to continue the project with births -- specific direction to staff. that could further evaluate the project and address the historic nature of the building and how to minimize this additional impact on the character. that is one option. >> what are the implications of a 4-2 vote against? >> if the indication is to take dr. under the circumstances? >> the motion failed. there is no action. if be a commission took no
action, then the project moves on. >> that is what i wanted people to be aware of. >> the project planner is actually in attendance. >> michael smith, planning department. i understand where commissioners sugaya is coming from and the direction he wants to go with this. if he wanted to take dr on the project and give a certain amount of directing to come up with a position coming up with the character of the building, i can do that. >> i will make a motion to take dr. and continue the project under the motion of the staff. i would also like you to confer with commissioners martinez if
you would. >> continue to a specific date? the you just want to take the dr? >> as a commissioner, i would like to see this again. >> would you like to see the final outcome of it? >> there is the possibility, maybe i'm being optimistic, with the proposed changes that the dr would be dropped. it depends on your preference. it seems like you could allow the possibility to stay open if you do not continue it. >> we can just go ahead and say something at this point. >> my brain is not working
right. >> i would like to work with the staff and the two preservation commissioners. i think that is what i moved. >> i am picking that up. >> i will like to ask both parties to take some of the animosity out of their communications, especially when it deals with the state of sacramento. i would also like to completely neutral read what was sent to me. not to the endorsement of the building design. it is a major distinction that it comes to where we are presenting. it includes the acceptance of the building. for the two parties to come to terms. then we will look forward with
the more modest -- or whatever the particular building design is. if it is the stork -- acceptable under historic guidelines. that would be my layman's interpretation of what is wrong. >> if this would move forward with the input from commissioners sugaya, that would be input from historical preservation. if the idea was appropriate to minimize this. what i think is a little bit disturbing as we do have the preservation commission. i think staff has the latitude and the ability to move that if they feel that they need their input. staff did not feel that was the case here. the commission was disagreeing and saying that it was significant enough. we have sa